Telenav on Tuesday announced the company’s “Scout for Apps” HTML5 voice-guided GPS navigation service. The service is being offered to developers who are looking for a free, turn-by-turn, voice-guided GPS navigation solution that can be built directly into their apps or websites, and the first mobile apps to incorporate Telenav’s service are scheduled to roll out soon. Avantar’s popular Yellow Pages app, which serves more than 90 million listings each month, will be among the first to incorporate the Scout for Apps service. “Currently, when users click on an address in our Yellow Pages app, we provide a standard map experience to help users get to their desired destinations,” said Adrian Ochoa, CEO of Avantar. “Once we launch with Scout for Apps, our customers will receive full-blown turn-by-turn, voice-guided directions, and they will never have to leave our app to get those directions and guidance. We love being able to offer this type of service on our platform.” Read on for more. More →
Researchers at Microsoft have created software that can translate a user’s voice into a foreign languages, a solution with the potential to revolutionize communications, MIT’s Technology Review reported on Monday. “We will be able to do quite a few scenario applications,” said Microsoft researcher Frank Soong. “For a monolingual speaker traveling in a foreign country, we’ll do speech recognition followed by translation, followed by the final text to speech output [in] a different language, but still in his own voice.” Read on for more. More →
Google has reportedly been hard at work developing glasses with a built-in heads-up display (HUD) on one lens. The glasses reportedly look very similar to Oakley’s Thump sunglasses, which allowed users to load songs onto a small flash drive and listen to tunes through integrated ear buds. According to 9to5Google, the glasses will be equipped with “hardware near the equivalent of a generation-old Android smartphone,” which means we’ll likely see a 1GHz processor and internal storage in the 8GB to 16GB range. The glasses will also be capable of voice input and output according to the report, and they will be able to capture photos using a front-facing camera. A user may even be able to navigate through menu items by tilting his or her head, 9to5Google said. The pilot program for Google’s HUD glasses is expected to launch soon but the devices are reportedly still far from ready for a mass roll out. More →
TeleNav just announced that the company will soon introduce a brand new voice-guided GPS navigation service for use in mobile apps and web sites. The innovative navigation solution will be HTML5-based and it will include spoken turn-by-turn directions. By using one line of code, TeleNav will provide free navigation to any mobile app or mobile web site, supplanting the need in many cases for something static like Google Maps. TeleNav let us know that this service will be free even for non-TeleNav subscribers, which is amazing if you think about it. The service will be launching “early next year,” though developers can start testing the service starting today. TeleNav’s full press release is included after the break. More →
Microsoft secretly participated in a recent $25 million funding round for Israel-based navigation solutions provider Waze, Israeli tech site TheMarker reported last week. Microsoft makes very few investments each year according to TheMarker’s source, but the tech giant apparently took quite an interest in Waze’s unique brand of navigation apps. “Waze is a social mobile application providing free turn-by-turn navigation based on the live conditions of the road. 100% powered by users, the more you drive, the better it gets,” the company’s website states. The company’s apps provide free voice-guided navigation to users, and also provide real-time data such as traffic conditions and speed trap alerts based on both automatic and manual feedback from each of Waze’s 4.5 million users around the world. While the terms of Microsoft’s investment were not revealed, the move is an interesting one — Microsoft is now in bed with Nokia, owner of navigation giant Navteq, and it will supply the OS for Nokia’s smartphones moving forward. Microsoft has already announced that it will use Navteq to power future navigation solutions in its Windows Phone OS, but it looks like a unique version of Waze for Windows Phone is in the works as well. More →
TomTom on Monday lowered its 2011 financial outlook again as consumer interest in dedicated navigation devices dwindles. Despite beating second-quarter revenue estimates, the Dutch company cut its full-year revenue guidance to €1.23 – €1.28 billion from its previously forecasted range of between €1.43 billion and €1.48 billion. This marks the second time this year that TomTom has lowered its 2011 guidance — the company had already reduced its full-year revenue forecast this past April. TomTom made a name for itself selling sleek Personal Navigation Devices that could be mounted in any car to provide the user with voice-guided GPS navigation. Following the emergence of smartphone-based solutions over the past few years, however, dedicated navigation companies like TomTom and Garmin have not been able to recover business lost to free solutions like Google Maps and inexpensive paid mobile solutions such as those offered by CoPilot and TalaNav. TomTom does offer a series of mobile applications, but the relative high price points and the flood of competition have proven to be difficult barriers. More →
We’re back with another one and this time it’s thanks to TeleNav, our launch partner for our new podcast series. Want to get your hands on the hottest tablet on the planet, which is still sold out almost everywhere? Here’s how you can enter to win:
- First of all, make sure to check out our very first podcast with information on the giveaway!
- Install the free GPS by TeleNav app on your iPhone or your Android smartphone and start the 30-day trial.
- Leave a comment below letting us know your feedback on the podcast, your thoughts on the TeleNav app, or why you’d like to win a brand new iPad 2.
The content will run for one week until July 4th at 11:59 p.m. EDT. For official terms and conditions click here.
P.S. You can also follow @TeleNav on Twitter, along with the @BGR team at @boygenius, @zacharye and @robotodd!
On Tuesday Garmin announced that Navigon’s shareholders have signed an agreement for a Garmin subsidiary to purchase Germany-based Navigon. “This acquisition is a great complement to Garmin’s existing automotive and mobile business. Navigon has invested significantly in the European automotive OEM business, and we feel that we can rapidly expand our automotive OEM footprint and capabilities through this transaction,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin’s president and COO. “With Navigon, we are also acquiring one of the top-selling navigation applications for the iPhone and Android platforms – something that we expect will help drive revenue for the combined company going forward. Combining Navigon’s and Garmin’s strength also improves our competitiveness and standing particularly in Europe.” Garmin said that Navigon will continue to operate as a subsidiary of Garmin and that the deal is still subject to regulatory approvals. Financial terms were not disclosed. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Google — noting that 40% of its Google Maps users are on mobile devices — updated its Google Maps Web app for iOS and Android today. We’ve been pretty satisfied with the native applications on Android and iOS, but the website allows you to access many of the options that are available from a desktop browser, too. That includes the ability to view your location, search nearby areas with suggestions and auto-complete, get directions for driving, transit, biking, or walking, view different lays, view Place pages, and access your starred locations. We’re particularly excited about the option for accessing our starred locations, a feature that’s not available in the native iOS application. You can access the revamped interface by visiting maps.google.com from your iOS or Android device. More →
Several new features set to be introduced in Microsoft’s upcoming “Mango” update for Windows Phone were revealed this past weekend. We already knew that Mango is set to be a major update to the Windows Phone platform — perhaps the most anticipated new feature is improved multitasking support — but Microsoft had been keeping several upcoming additions under wraps. Newly revealed features include Bing Audio, which will identify songs by listening to music, a la Shazam; Bing Vision, which will provide barcode scanning along with a host of camera-assisted search functions; the addition of turn-by-turn navigation to Bing Maps; speech recognition support in the messaging app; and a new native podcast player. None of these new features have been confirmed by Microsoft at this point but considering the proven track record of the source, it looks like Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 update is going to be even more exciting than we thought. More →
Google Maps has hit a new milestone as the first Android application to surpass the 50 million download mark. The free application has seen many revisions since its public introduction in 2008 — as part of Android 1.6 — and now includes 3D modeling with multi-touch zoom and panning, free voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, and support for Google’s Latitude and Places products. Given that it’s available on every iteration of Android — that we can think of — we’re not surprised to learn it’s the most downloaded application ever. Congrats to the Google Maps team. More →
Research In Motion announced on Monday that it has updated its BlackBerry Traffic navigation software to version 188.8.131.529. The latest iteration includes the following changes:
- Select between two routes to a destination, and can use a new traffic view that displays predicted traffic conditions for each route.
- Pre-set destinations, such as work or home, or get an ETA to destinations from within their BlackBerry® Contacts, enter an address manually, or find new places using the search feature
- Quickly share ETAs with contacts via SMS, email, or PIN message
RIM also said that, by anonymously collecting user data, the software will now optimize your estimated time of arrival, and will suggest the best time to leave based on current traffic conditions. BlackBerry Traffic requires a GPS-equipped device running BlackBerry OS 4.6 or newer. The app will be rolling into the App World over the next 24 hours. Hit the jump for a link to save yourself some commuting time. More →
At SXSW, Google’s VP of Location and Local Services, Marissa Mayer, took the stage and dished out some interesting Google data, including mobile stats. During her talk, Mayer revealed the following statistics we found interesting:
- 40% of all Google Maps usage is from mobile devices, and Christmas and New Years day mobile usage surpassed desktop usage for the first time.
- 150 million mobile users on Google Maps
- Google Maps Navigation, included on Android handsets, has guided users 12 billion miles a year, and the latest version with traffic routing saves users 2 years per day in time that would have been spent in traffic.
- Google Maps could get smarter, and become contextually aware. For instance, if you were trying to catch a flight, Google Maps could see your flight schedule to see when your flight was, then look and analyze real-time traffic data and weather conditions to try and figure out the exact time you should leave
- Google would like there to be better Google Maps for iPhone. “We like being the default provider, but we’d like to get some of these updates out to a broader audience. That’s still a debate/question we’re considering.”
With Google’s Android explosion continuing, it looks like there will plenty more Google Maps and Navigation users over the next few years.